Banana Donuts are moist baked banana donuts topped with a thick brown butter icing. They are a great alternative to banana bread if you are looking for a way to use up your overripe bananas.

Two banana donuts stacked on top of each other. One donut has a bite out of it

As much as I love a good banana bread (see my favorite recipe here) you can only eat so much of it. Enter: this Banana Donut Recipe. Now you have another way to use up your overripe bananas!

Honestly, the donuts are great plain and I would eat them like that all day long, but you know I had to throw an extra special icing on top. Brown Butter Icing takes these banana baked donuts from an 8 to a 10! It is really simple and easy to make, but the icing tastes like you spent forever making it.

A donut stacked on top of a jar of brown butter icing

Baked donuts are one of my favorite things to make because they are insanely versatile and so simple. You throw them in a mold, bake them, and they’re ready in no time. They are a great treat to make with kids, as well!

A plate of baked donuts

Ingredients for Banana Donuts:

Ingredients for banana baked donuts:

  • All-purpose flour. Measuring the flour correctly is very important. I suggest weighing your flour out (I use this scale). If you want to use a measuring cup, make sure you spoon the flour into the cup and level it off with a knife. Don’t use the cup to scoop directly from the flour.
  • Light brown sugar. Brown sugar adds flavor and a softer texture to the final product.
  • Salt. Salt is a must in baked goods. It will help to balance out the sweetness and improve the overall flavor.
  • Baking powder. Baking powder will help the baked donuts to rise.
  • Overripe Bananas. You need to be sure the bananas are overripe (a lot of brown spots on the peel) or they won’t be soft enough to bake with.
  • Unsalted butter.  I always make sure to use unsalted butter when baking because there is no “standard” for the amount of salt they can add to butter. So if you add salt to a recipe and then use salted butter you could end up with a very salty end product.
  • Egg. It will be easier to incorporate the eggs into the batter if they are at room temperature. 

Ingredients for brown butter icing:

  • Unsalted Butter. See above note. We will brown this butter.
  • Powdered Sugar. This will bring the icing together and make it sweet.
  • Vanilla Extract. Vanilla is a must in baked goods just like salt. Real vanilla adds a better flavor than imitation vanilla.
  • Heavy Cream or Milk. If the brown butter icing is too thick you can mix in some milk heavy cream to thin it out. I add 1 tablespoon at a time.
All of the ingredients needed for this recipe

How to make Banana Donuts:

BANANA BAKED DONUTS

STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray your donut mold with non-stick spray and set it aside.

STEP 2: In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Be sure there are no lumps.

The dry ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP 3: In a separate bowl mix together mix the mashed bananas, melted butter, and the egg.

All of the wet ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP 4: Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be thick.

The wet and dry ingredients combined to make the batter

STEP 5: Spoon or pipe the batter into your molds and fill them up about 3/4 of the way to the top.

STEP 6: Place your banana donuts in the pre-heated oven. They usually take about 15-17 minutes to bake, but I started checking them around 10 minutes to see if the pan needs to be turned. You’ll know they are finished when you lightly press on a donut and it springs back.

STEP 7: Remove from the oven and let the baked donuts cool in the molds until cool enough to remove.

A closeup of a donut with a bite out of it

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is unsalted butter that has been cooked down so the water in the butter evaporates and the milk solids in the butter turn brown. It gives the butter a nutty taste and smell. Adding brown butter to dishes in place of regular butter will amp up the flavor.

Brown butter sounds fancy, but it is very simple to make. You will learn how to make brown butter below! If I want to change up a recipe, but don’t want to worry about testing out the recipe changes, I am going to brown the butter. It will totally change the taste of your baked good without changing the way it comes out of the oven.

HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER

Browning butter is very simple, but if you have never done it before it can be a bit daunting.

  • First, you will melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. If you have the heat too low it will take a while for the butter to brown. If you have the heat too high the butter might burn.
  • After the butter has melted it will start to get foamy and make crackly noises, this is normal. You can stir the butter occasionally, but you don’t need to do it constantly.
  • Little brown bits will start to form at the bottom of the pan and the butter will take on a more orange color. It will start smelling nutty.
  • Let the butter continue to brown for about a minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. This whole process should take about 5 minutes.
A saucepan of brown butter

Brown Butter Icing

STEP 1: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. It will start to foam and you will see orangy brown bits form at the bottom of the pan, this will take about 5 minutes.

STEP 2: Remove from heat and allow the butter to cool slightly.

STEP 3: Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until no longer lumpy. If the icing is too thick you can add small amounts of milk or heavy cream.

STEP 4: Dip the tops of the donuts into the icing.

Two banana donuts stacked on top of each other. One donut has a bite out of it

Can I make baked donuts ahead of time?

I WOULDN’T RECOMMEND IT. Donuts are best eaten the same day that they are made.

You can, however, make the batter ahead of time, refrigerate it or freeze it (depending on how far ahead of time you are making the donut batter), and then bake the donuts when you are ready to eat them.

A plate full of banana donuts

More donut recipes

A close up of a donut with a bite out of it

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Recipe originally published April 15, 2020.

Banana Baked Donuts with a brown butter glaze
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4.93 from 13 votes

Banana Baked Donuts

Banana Donuts are moist baked banana donuts topped with a thick brown butter icing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked donuts, banana, banana donuts, brown butter, brown butter icing, donuts
Servings: 8 donuts
Calories: 268kcal

Ingredients

For Donuts:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 overripe bananas mashed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg

For Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • milk or heavy cream as needed

Instructions

For Donuts:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray your donut mold with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl mix the mashed bananas, melted butter, and egg. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Spoon the batter into the donut pan and place the donut pan on a cookie sheet.
  • Put the donuts into the pre-heated oven and bake for 17-20 minutes or until they spring back when lightly pressed.
  • Remove from oven allow and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and allow to cool fully.

For Icing:

  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. It will start to foam and you will see orangy brown bits form at the bottom of the pan, this will take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow the butter to cool slightly.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until no longer lumpy. If the icing is too thick you can add small amounts of milk or heavy cream.
  • Dip the tops of the donuts into the icing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.7g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 9.8g | Saturated Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 28.1g | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
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